From: Reuters
Published January 8, 2008 10:33 PM

Japan feels the heat: global warming pushing temps higher

TOKYO (Reuters) - The average temperature in Japan could rise by up to 4.7 degrees Celsius (8.5 Fahrenheit) this century unless steps are taken to combat global warming, the Environment Ministry said on Wednesday.

Japan, the world's second-biggest economy, could face a rise in the average temperature of 1.3-4.7 C (2.3-8.5 F) in the 2070-2099 period from levels registered in 1961-1990, the ministry said in a report.

The rise in temperatures could boost rainfall in Japan by up to 16.4 percent, the report said.

A panel of experts set up by the ministry will analyze the possible impact of rising temperatures and produce an outline in May of steps Japan could take to combat it.

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The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) projected a "best estimate" last February that world temperatures would rise by 1.8 to 4.0 C (3.2-7.2 F) this century.

The U.N. body also said rising temperatures could lead to more hunger, water shortages and ever more extinctions of animals and plants.

It said crop yields could drop by 50 percent by 2020 in some countries and projected a steady shrinking of Arctic sea ice in summers.

(Reporting by Teruaki Ueno)

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